Insight November 9, 2021 TRN

Diversity Hiring: 7 Steps to Improve Your Hiring Process

What is Diversity Hiring?

Diversity hiring is the process of removing bias against candidates based on religion, sexual orientation, gender, race, age and other qualifying characteristics not associated with an individual’s job performance. Employers who practice diversity hiring in the United States often state that they provide “Equal Employment Opportunity,” as outlined by the United States EEOC.

Often, the process of diversity hiring is misconstrued. Practicing diversity hiring does not mean only that a company is seeking to cultivate a more diverse workforce for improved performance, better representation of their customer base, and more informed decision making. Rather, it means that organizations work thoughtfully to reduce bias within the hiring process, offering a level playing field to all qualified candidates that apply for a job.

Steps to Hiring Diverse Candidates

1. Conduct an Audit on Your Current Diversity Hiring Process

The first step is to evaluate your current hiring system. Are there potential holes or issues within your hiring process that may allow bias to creep in? Assess both the strengths and weaknesses of your current approach. Make a list of the things you are doing well and a list of the areas you could improve. After conducting your analysis, it is time to determine how to improve on the weaknesses in your hiring process.

2. Prioritize What to Improve in Your Hiring Process

After conducting your diversity audit, you may be overwhelmed by all the pain points to fix. First, organize the weaknesses by most severe to least severe. From there, select the most impactful pain point in which you could improve upon. Continue to make goals to fix the other issues on your list; however, start with one issue, solve it, and then move on. Doing so will make your effort to increase diversity hiring much easier.

3. Widen Your Talent Pool While Sourcing Candidates

If you find that your initial candidate pool is consistently lacking in diversity, your process to hire diverse candidates hit a bottleneck before it even started. However, there are a variety of ways to fix this problem.

Attract diversity by talking about diversity:

Not surprisingly, diversity attracts diversity. Do your company communications talk about your existing approach to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), or the diversity you are working to build within your organization? If not, include information about your company culture, employee backgrounds, and diversity initiatives in the “about us” sections of your company’s website, social media landing pages, and on your job boards.

Re-evaluate the specific wording in your job descriptions:

Assess the initial wording of your job descriptions as well. Consider how changing the language within your descriptions might attract a more diverse group of candidates to apply. For example, change the heading “required experience” to “preferred qualifications” to encourage a wider range of candidates to apply.

4. Improve Diversity Hiring While Screening Candidates

One solution to improving your screening is to operate under blind hiring practices. You could invest in a software that pulls names and other personal information from resumes during the screening process. Consider conducting initial screening interviews as phone calls rather than video-based meetings. These and other methods can enable your recruiters and HR personnel to focus specifically on the skills listed on a resume or the objective experience required for your role, rather than personal characteristics and visual data.

5. Expand Diversity Hiring While Shortlisting Candidates

A shortlist is the list of candidates that you know you want to move further in the hiring process. These are the candidates who have highly qualified resumes or who had a promising first interview with your company.
An effective way to ensure diversity on your shortlist is to mandate diversity while sourcing and screening candidates. If you cannot widen your initial talent pool, the likelihood of having a diverse hire is very low. A great principle to use while shortlisting candidates is to follow the “two in the pool” effect. This effect states that your shortlist should have at least two diverse candidates; doing so will increase the likelihood of hiring a diverse candidate significantly.

6. Ask the Right Questions While Interviewing

Once you’ve created a shortlist, ask the right questions in your interview process. If diversity is important to your organization, talk about your diversity efforts in the interview process, and ask your candidates to share their thoughts on diversity.

7. Evaluate Your Diversity Hiring Metrics

Revisit the goal you set at the beginning of this process. Did you improve upon that particular pain point? If not, are there other approaches you can take to improving the diversity hiring process?

If you were able to meet your goal, continue with the same pattern. Pick the next important pain point to fix on your list, and make it happen. Continue the process until you feel you have effectively increased diversity in your hiring approach.

Let TRN Help You Build a Diverse World-Class Team to Impact Education

TRN matches unrivaled Education and Technology expertise with a vast candidate network, an experienced in-house research team, powerful customized marketing, multiple sources of custom quantitative feedback, and a proven, client-focused process. If you’re one of the hundreds of leaders or organizations who are thinking about making your workplace more diverse, but need some support, then we’ve got your back.

Contact us to learn more about TRN can help you with your talent acquisition needs.

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